Consummation of the Misfortunes of Greece
My thirty-eighth book embraces the consummation of the misfortunes of Greece. For
The ill-luck which occasioned the fall of Greece.
though Greece as a whole, as well as separate
parts of it, has on several occasions sustained grave disasters,
yet to none of her previous defeats could the word "misfortune" be more properly applied, than to those which have
befallen her in our time. For it is not only that the
of Greece excite compassion: stronger still is the
conviction, which a knowledge of the truth of the several
occurrences must bring, that in all she undertook she was
The fall of Greece was even more lamentable than that of Carthage.
At any rate, though the disaster of
Carthage is looked upon as of the severest
kind, yet one cannot but regard that of Greece
as not less, and in some respects even more so.
For the Carthaginians at any rate left something
for posterity to say on their behalf; but the mistakes of the
Greeks were so glaring that they made it impossible for those
who wished to support them to do so. Besides, the destruction of the Carthaginians was immediate and total, so that
they had no feeling afterwards of their disasters: but the
Greeks, with their misfortunes ever before their eyes, handed
down to their children's children the loss of all that once was
theirs. And in proportion as we regard those who live in pain
as more pitiable than those who lose their lives at the moment
of their misfortunes, in that proportion must the disasters of
the Greeks be regarded as more pitiable than those of the
Carthaginians,—unless a man thinks nothing of dignity and
honour, and gives his opinion from a regard only to material
advantage. To prove the truth of what I say, one has only
to remember and compare the misfortunes in Greece reputed
to be the heaviest with what I have just now mentioned.